St John’s Cathedral is the only fully stone-vaulted church in the Southern hemisphere and is highly regarded as a sublime example of neo-gothic architecture.


Traditional Timber Construction & Joinery, Ecclesiastical Woodwork, Traditional Kent Plain Tile Roofing


373 Ann Street, Brisbane City, Queensland


2000 – present


St John’s Cathedral

St Johns Cathedral Barnes Project


The construction of St John’s Cathedral Brisbane began in 1906 and has spanned over two centuries, being built in three phases. Barnes Construction and Joinery was initially engaged as the carpenter and joiner for Stage 3 of the completion project in 2000 and has extended into construction services and detailed interiors as the project has progressed. Our work at St John’s continues.

Instrumental to this project is our commitment to honouring the original intentions of the architect (John Pearson) in order to bring his vision to life. This was achieved by studying the original sketches of the building as detailed plans were not available for all elements of the design. We also identified how the first two phases of construction diverted from the original architectural drawings to ensure the work that we did produced an end result in line with the intended architectural design.

The methods of construction used in this project have been consistent with the design era (late gothic). Barnes Construction & Joinery has been utilised for its skills and experience in traditional timber construction, heavy mortice and tenon roofing construction and articulation (where you join new construction to old construction).

Our work on this project continues with the Oratory Chapel.


  • A key challenge of this project has been sourcing materials that are consistent with the existing fabric. Considerable effort has been made to match the dimensions and species of timbers used. The design life of a cathedral is 1000 years so sourcing materials with the durability to represent the life of the building is crucial.
  • With Project Management and architects we undertook a detailed study of the original sketches of the building in order to remain true to the design of the original architect (John Pearson).
  • In line with the philosophy and approach of conservation work, we are committed to doing only what is necessary with the intent to retain as much of the original substrate as possible.
  • This project has required considerable collaboration with key stakeholders such as the Architect (Mike Kennedy), the Head Mason and Project Manager (Peter Dare), the respective Deans over time, and various experts and companies in the supply chain providing rare materials.

Conservation & Repair of Timber Heritage